Columbans Ireland

Oct 18th
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Home News Pakistan


Solidarity after Church Attacks

On Sunday morning, March 15 there were two suicide attacks on two Churches in Yohannabad, Lahore – St. John's Catholic Church and Christ Church Protestant Church, in which 15 were killed and over 70 injured. The first attack was on St John's but it could have been much worse as the security guards stopped the attackers who detonated the bomb outside the gate. A few minutes later the second attack happened at Christ Church which is only a short distance away. People at the church claim that two of the three Government police on duty were actually at a nearby shop watching the Pakistan-Ireland World cup cricket game and as a consequence the bomber got further into the church compound and most of the deaths and injuries were at Christ Church.

Dalgan Union Celebrates 50th

On Sunday 13th May, 70 plus Dalgan Union members and their families gathered in Dalgan to celebrate 50 years since the Union was founded. Part of the celebration included the planting of a tree. Tommy Murphy was the celebrant of the Eucharist. 
For fifty years they have been our Collaborators in mission. It was a very pleasant day. As a Society we are deeply grateful to the foresight of the founding members of the Union – Pat Rhatigan, Pat Savage, Phil Galligan together with Fr. Luke O’Reilly. Harry McEvoy (Secretary) and John Smyth (Treasurer) together with Bill Looby have been with the Union almost from the beginning. They have been very faithful in maintaining the links with the Society. 

Badami Bagh Update

Badami Bagh could have been prevented. Like similar incidents in recent years like Gojra, Sangla Hill and Shanti Nagar, this need not have happened. The authorities knew there was trouble brewing. The police warned the people that there was danger of attack. Instead of preventing it, they told the Christians to leave and left their houses and possessions to the mercy of the frenzied attackers and looters.

This attack happened in Lahore, arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the country. It is also the capital of the Punjab. Economically and population wise Punjab is 60% of Pakistan.

Christian Community Attacked

On Saturday morning, 9 March, a mob of about 7,000 looted and set fire to Joseph Colony, a Christian residential area near Badami Bagh in central Lahore. At least 160 houses belonging to  Christian families, 18 shops and two churches, one Catholic and the other Seventh day Adventist, were burnt.

The immediate reason was that a Christian man in his 20s, Sawan Masih, was accused of blasphemy against Muhammad which is punishable by death under 295-C [Blasphemy Laws] of the Penal Code of Pakistan. Sawan was arrested by police on Friday 8 March and sent to jail by the magistrate.

Columban Honoured by Pakistan

Pakistan's highest civilian award has be awarded  to Fr Robert McCulloch of the St Columbans Mission Society.
Australian born, Columban Fr Robert McCulloch has been awarded the Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, the highest civilian award that can be given to foreign nationals with the citation: "For services to Health, Education, and Inter-Faith Relations."
Fr Robert McCulloch has been in Pakistan for over 30 years. He is Chairman of the Saint Elizabeth Hospital's Administrative Council which provides quality medical services to the people of Hyderabad and rural parts of Sindh. He also runs a medical outreach programme in rural Sindh.
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Missionaries -  we're just trying to match the generosity of those with whom we work and those who support us.

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